Android Ice Cream Sandwich due in October/November

Android 4.0, the next version of Google's mobile phone and tablet operating system, has been going by the code name Ice Cream Sandwich. Until Wednesday, Google has been fairly vague about when Android 4.0 will be made available. Now Google's CEO Eric Schmidt, speaking at the Dreamforce 2011 conference, told Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, "We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason, which is being released in October/November, which everyone's really excited about."

Android 4.0 will basically merge the two separate versions of Android into one. Android 2.3 is currently used for smartphones and smaller tablets while Android 3.2 is used for higher end tablet devices. So far Google has been keeping most of the details about Android 4.0 a secret, although some screenshots that reportedly show off Android 4.0's user interface were leaked onto the Internet last month. However, the OS is expected to make its first appearance inside the Droid Prime, a smartphone made by Samsung, that Verizon is expected to launch sometime in October.

Android continues to be the number one smartphone operating system. In August the NPD Group reported that over half of all smartphones sold in the US in the second quarter of 2011 were based on Android, and made by Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others. However, Apple's iPhone continues to be the biggest competitor to Android in the smartphone marketplace. That same NPD study said 29 percent of all smartphones sold in the US in the second quarter were using the iOS operating system shipped in Apple iPhones.

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